Gin Festival Bournemouth*

Last weekend, I re-GIN-dled my love for a much-loved spirit.

Terrible puns aside, the Gin Festival at Bournemouth Pavilion was an absolute delight. The Ballroom was packed with a variety of sights and smells, with over 100 delectable premium gins to sample.

Armed with my trusty partner-in-crime Lisa, we ventured to the Festival on the Friday evening and we were not at all prepared for such an experience! We were kindly looked after by some very hospitable staff and we learnt all about the history of gin and some rather interesting flavour pairings. Oh, and we got to take home our beautiful glasses too!


The idea being that you purchase drinks tokens to exchange for your gin and then you choose which Fever-Tree mixer to pair it with (the sponsors of the evening). I opted for classic tonic water whereas Lisa preferred lemonade in her drinks.

My first choice was Pinkster, a dry London gin made with fresh raspberries. Garnished with a raspberry and a mint leaf, it had a very smooth sweet taste. Lisa opted for Silent Pool with lemonade and an orange garnish. It was also very fruity and had a floral, citrusy aftertaste.

Next we wandered over to the exhibitors of the night. Local Dorset brand Conker Spirit was very light, it didn’t have the burning aftertaste that some shots do and went down very smoothly. Next we spoke to James from the Locksley Distilling Company. They were serving their Sir Robin of Locksley Gin with elderflower tonic, which had a really nice blend and a taster of pink grapefruit.



Our absolute favourites of the night however were Brockmans from Langley. Their gin smelt delectable and got its jam-like sweetness from blackberries and blueberries. Mike from Brockmans told me that they are a brand about the ‘darker side’ of gin, hosting raunchy events and creating some questionable content online. In Mike’s gin masterclass, he told us the story of ‘Mr Gin’ and the creative process that inspired them to combine flavours for a gin you could enjoy over ice. I’ll be buying a bottle of Brockmans for my next night in with friends, that’s for sure!

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Brockmans

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Brockmans

At this point, musicians Holder & Smith took to the stage. Having performed magic tricks amongst the crowd, the duo played some great and fitting jazz and swing covers to liven up the party mood. Having had a delicious pulled pork roll made by the Pavilion’s in-house catering and a bit of a boogie to ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, we then decided to enjoy some drinks outside overlooking the beautiful Bournemouth pier.

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Pier - Jenna and Lisa


We opted for two Edinburgh Gin Liqueurs. Lisa had the Raspberry with lemonade and said it was her favourite as it tasted ‘like fizzy squash’. I had the Rhubarb and Ginger liqueur with tonic which was also really sweet with a great tangy aftertaste. This was my favourite too!


Bournemouth Gin Festival - Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger, Raspberry Liqueur


At the festival, you could also exchange two tokens for a choice cocktail. Lisa chose a ‘Rhubarb Rumble’ which combined Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Liqueur with Advocaat, apple juice and fresh lemon. We also got a rhubarb and custard sweet, which the cocktail tasted just like and Lisa said it reminded her of ‘her childhood in a drink’!

I too had a gin cocktail, a ‘Drunken Tulip’ made with Martin Miller’s Gin, Prosecco, pomegranate juice, elderflower cordial and fresh lemon. This was really refreshing and I joked that all the fresh, fruity flavour made it taste ‘almost healthy’…

We had a quick chat to the ladies from Gin Explorer too. They are a subscription service who send you 4 carefully chosen 50ml vials of different gins each month. We tried new Black Shuck gin there and the ladies very kindly gave me a code for £5 off your first order with them. Visit and use ‘PASSPORT‘.

You’re welcome!


Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Gin Explorer Subscription Box

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Gin Explorer Subscription Box - £5 off codeWe had a great time at Gin Festival and I’d recommend that you get tickets to an event near you soon.

Make a night of it!

Have you been to a Gin Festival?
What’s your favourite gin or gin cocktail?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.


* This post is a collaboration with Gin Festival.

For more information, see my disclaimers.



Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:
Jazmin’s 15th Birthday (in pictures) – We went for a meal at Frankie & Bennys to celebrate my little sister turning fifteen!
what I did at Christmas – a selection of posts about mine and my family’s Christmas celebrations…
Scissors Christchurch Ladies’ Night* – My Nan and I were pampered for the evening by the Scissors team
the perfect Pimms – I make the Pimms’ cup recipe with a little help from my mum!


Sweet n’ Spicy Homemade Pork Burgers

So I found some reduced pork mince in Iceland and decided to try and make something different. Josh has been a dab hand at combining great flavours for homemade burgers in the past, so I enlisted his help to make some sweet yet spicy pork burgers.


(Apologies for the dim lighting in these pictures, our kitchen bulb went as we started cooking!)

You will need:

1lb pork mince
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 egg
1 tbsp plain flour, sifted (optional)
2 tsp paprika (optional)
1 tbsp The Heat Exchange Extreme Chilli Dip** (optional)
salt and pepper to season


  1. Combine mince, chopped garlic, beaten egg and any seasonings/extras in a bowl, lightly working with your hands.(You might want to wear floured gloves so it doesn’t stick!)pork_mince_meat_homemade_burgers_paprika_egg


2. Josh had a teeny bit of a Chilli Dip left from The Heat Exchange** so we decided to add this in to see what it would do for the flavour.

(Because this made the mixture quite wet, we sifted a little bit of plain flour in to absorb some of the moisture.)



3. Mash these into patties – we made them 1/2 lb each because we were super hungry!

(Using greaseproof paper stops them losing loads of moisture and makes them easier to handle when flipping/taking out.)



4. Grill your burgers for 15-20 minutes depending on your taste, until golden brown and firm to the touch.


We had ours with a mixed salad and my homemade potato wedges (the recipe for those is a family secret I’m afraid!) and they were really nice!


Want some other flavours that you could add in to these burgers?

Try chopped apple, chorizo or mustard for some extra oomph!


Do you make homemade burgers?

Have you cooked any new recipes lately?


Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.



** This post was in no way sponsored by or a collaboration with The Heat Exchange, we just really liked this stuff and had it in the cupboard.


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If you liked this post, you should check out:
Jazmin’s 15th Birthday (in pictures) – Check out our meal at Frankie & Benny’s, Bournemouth
hangover bacon cups with British Lion Eggs*The saviour of all breakfasts to sort you out…
satay chicken skewers with Florette Salad* – A tasty, easy lunch that’s good for you too!

Jazmin’s 15th Birthday (in pictures)

So my little sister Jazmin is now fifteen which is terrifying – as if I ever needed reminding that I’m growing up ever faster!


I remember changing her nappy for crying out loud!

I remember reading her bedtime stories and watching countless episodes of Dora the Explorer.

I remember cutting all the hair off of her Barbie dolls once because she annoyed me.

I remember how she was very compliant in starring in my plays and wearing whatever weird costumes I asked her to.

I remember how I made her be the student and we would play ‘school’ where I’d give her pretend work to do.

Mostly I remember how I was so glad to have a sibling to play with.

She gave me a reason to act responsibly, encouraged my love of learning and taught me a great deal about patience and fairness . I had to share, take turns and set an example in what I did from there on out.

Basically, my little sister made me want to be somebody she looked up to.



For her birthday we went to Frankie & Benny’s in Bournemouth for dinner.
Me, Jaz, Mum, Nan and Josh had a great time joking around and stuffing our faces with some great food.

Jaz was pretty impressed with her Banana and Butterscotch Milkshake


…and her new wheels for her longboard!


I got some lovely pictures of my beautiful Mama and Nanny… I hope I look as good as them when I’m their ages.


Josh and Jaz spent a lot of time goofing around…


I had a really tasty Grilled Chicken Pitta with barbecue sauce which came with fries, corn on the cob and coleslaw.

It was a really big portion for just £11.45 and everything was cooked well.

I even had dessert and I never normally opt for something sweet!
Mind you, it was Salted Caramel Cheesecake with vanilla ice cream so my hands were tied…




It’s a great family-friendly restaurant and the staff were really helpful. We didn’t have to wait long for our meals either, despite it being a busy Friday night. We also got 20% off our total bill because I used my NUS Extra card. I’d recommend Frankie and Benny’s Bournemouth for groups on a bit of a budget but would advise that some might find it too lively for a first date or a catch up with someone.

Have you been to a Frankie and Benny’s? Did you enjoy your visit?

Where have you been for dinner lately?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!



Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:
hangover bacon cups with British Lion Eggs* – a morning-after breakfast savior made with ethical eggs
Scissors Christchurch Ladies Night* – My Nanny and I got a night of food and pampering thanks to Scissors Salons!
She Who Dares Wins ’15 (in pictures) – A Bournemouth conference about kick-ass women and gender equality in business.

food: hangover bacon cups with british lion eggs*

So it’s high time that I confess to slipping up on my health kick.

What with it being my birthday (embarassing vlog to follow very soon), I wasn’t about to spend the celebrations without some booze and a shameful, greasy breakfast the morning after.

This recipe is a personal favourite of mine and it does wonders for a hangover!




You will need:

Bacon (I prefer smoked)

A muffin tray

Bread (of your choice)

British Lion Eggs

Orange Juice (optional)





First, cut circles out of the bread using a glass roughly the same size as the cups of your muffin tray.

Keep the crusts to one side as you can use them later!




You need to pre-cook the bacon.
I prefer the taste of grilled bacon as it’s marginally better for you but you can fry it if you like.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 (200C/ 400F) during this step.



Arrange the cooked bacon around the rim of the muffin tray.

(It was at this point in my cooking that I realised that my tray was too shallow so excuse the fact that it starts to get a bit messy from here on out!)



Carefully crack your eggs and pour them into the center of the cups.



I always choose British Lion Eggs because the stamp means that the eggs adhere to the only UK egg-assurance Code of Practice. Overseeing the entire production process and ensuring food safety, British Lion standards for this code are:


  • All Lion hens and eggs guaranteed British
  • Hens vaccinated against Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium
  • Registration and a unique ‘passport’ system, ensuring complete traceability of hens, eggs and feed
  • Increased hygiene controls and salmonella testing of all flocks in the integrated egg production chain, in excess of the National Control Programme, including turnaround swabbing of breeding, pullet rearing and laying flocks; and packing centre hygiene swabbing
  • Regular egg testing (not included in National Control Programme)
  • Stringent feed controls, including production of feed to Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS) standards
  • Lion Quality eggs stamped on farm with the farm code and production method.
  • Best-before date and Lion logo printed on the shell of Lion Quality eggs as well as on the egg box
  • Higher animal welfare requirements than required by law, closely aligned with the RSPCA welfare standards (applied through Freedom Food) for barn and free range hens.
  • Regular independent auditing, including unannounced audits, of all producers and packers in the Lion scheme, in accordance with the EN 45011 standard.

From the British Egg Information Service website, 2015.


As well as being stamped on each individual egg, the carton itself should show this British Lion logo:



Bake your hangover cups for at least 10-12 minutes.
When ready, they should appear completely white with the yolk glazed over.




Serve with an ice-cold glass of orange juice (or maybe water depending on your state!) for a refreshing addition.


Oh, and those crusts?

Well I got peckish while the eggs were baking… but you can put them on the side and dunk them in the yolk!



Check out the British Lion Eggs website for more delicious egg recipes including stir-frys, pancakes, salads and even how to make an omelette. Many of their meal choices are perfect and simple for students, parents or those with a busy working day.


Do you check for British Lion or other food standard stamps?
Have you made these or any other tasty egg recipes?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!



* This post is a collaboration with British Lion Eggs.

For more information, see my disclaimers.


Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:
workout fuel from trek protein bars* –  some tasty free from snacks

satay chicken skewers with florette salad* – a low-calorie lunch recipe that’s easy to make and tastes really good

food: workout fuel from trek protein bars*

As part of our current health kick, Josh and I have been trying to eat clean. I already posted a yummy ‘satay’ chicken salad recipe with Florette Salad* recently  and this week, it’s all about a good workout!

I don’t really enjoy the gym or running, or anything where I have to get sweaty  in front of people for that matter. I prefer to workout at home where I can shut the curtains, turn the music up and then get straight in the shower afterwards … with no-one even knowing what I’ve done.

I created home workout plans for myself (post to follow) based on what I know I am currently able to do with my body and what parts of the body I want to tone. Once I had decided these areas, I researched the best strength and cardio exercises for that body part, adapted them slightly to my own abilities and then incorporated them into a workout plan that uses intervals of both to get me fit!

Josh’s exercise plan includes a lot of walking every day, training with the local roller derby teams and a weekly strength and conditioning class. Phew!


I was sent a case of Trek Protein Bars by the lovely people at Natural Balance Foods to try as part of our detox this month. The bars are vegan- friendly and free from gluten, wheat and dairy. They contain no artificial flavourings or sugars just fruits, oats and nuts. They are really dense, packing 10 grams of protein per bar! This makes them the perfect snack pre- or post-workout.

My personal favourites were the Peanut Power and Cocoa Chaos flavours but they also come in Berry Burst and Banana Blast, which Josh really liked so it worked out quite well.

Although they’re not really high in calories, (170-203 kcal per bar depending on the flavour) it’s worth noting that these probably wouldn’t be the best choice for a low-calorie diet. I like them because they are a good supplement to an exercise regime. Wholesome and natural, they’re good energy foods for those looking to get fit.

What do you use for workout fuel?

Have you tried Trek Protein Bars before?

Let me know in the comments below!



*This post is a collaboration with Natural Balance Foods.

For more information, see my disclaimers.


Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
Interview with Poppy D Jeffery – Poppy asks me about roller derby and empowerment for her Life Rolls On documentary
hangover bacon cups with British Lion Eggs* – not so healthy but a lifesaver breakfast for the morning after!
satay chicken skewers with Florette Salad* – a yummy, low calorie lunch option

food: satay chicken skewers with Florette Salad*

So Josh and I were very naughty in Manchester and we consumed all of the food and all of the alcohol. Because of this, I’m back on a detox and what better timing for Florette Salad to contact me and ask me to create a recipe post for the blog?


Despite the satay-inspired marinade being a bit of a cheat,  this light summery meal is simple and it doesn’t take long to make.

diced white onion
peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)
dark soy sauce
milk (coconut milk is best if you have it but I just used semi-skimmed)
fish sauce (optional)


Fry the diced onion for a couple of minutes until mostly translucent.

pan_fried_onions_marinade_satay_chicken_recipe_florette_salad_postAdd the cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Add peanut butter, dark soy sauce and if you are using them, fish sauce and coconut milk.
If you are using regular cows milk, don’t add this until you have taken it off the heat or it will spoil!bowl_marinade_satay_chicken_recipe_florette_salad_post

Once combined, remove from the heat.
Allow the mixture to cool and blend all ingredients lightly.

Cover chicken breast in marinade and leave in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
(If you’ve got the time, overnight would be the best!)
kebab_wooden_skewers_satay_chicken_recipe_florette_salad_postBefore you assemble your skewers, soak them in cold water for about half an hour. This makes it easier to push things onto them.

Chop your marinated chicken breast into pieces and assemble your skewers with whatever vegetables you like!
We chose red and green peppers and mushrooms.


Grill until chicken is cooked through – the meat should be white with the juices running clear. Rotate throughout grilling to make sure that your veg doesn’t burn.

Whilst they are cooking, you can make up a tasty salad!

With loads of different flavours, the Florette bags would be great as they are to accompany your skewers but we threw in a little cucumber, carrot, spring onion and pepper for a bit of crunch.



Your finished skewers should look something like this!


For more low-calorie meals, check out Florette Salad‘s website. They’ve just launched a five-day healthy eating meal planner too, so there’s no excuse not to eat your greens with every meal!

Are you looking to go on a detox?

What are your favourite low-calorie recipes?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!



*This post is a collaboration with Florette Salad.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
hangover bacon cups with British Lion Eggs* – not so healthy but a lifesaver breakfast for the morning after!
workout fuel from trek protein bars*  – yummy free from snacks that are good for your body before exercise!

food: the perfect Pimms (for 18+ | drink responsibly)

Edit: Okay, so an alcoholic drink isn’t exactly food but there’s fruits in this recipe, so I figured it can sit on the food pages of the blog.

Whether you’re a drinker or not, there is a fitting beverage for all sorts of weather.  In the winter months, I’m partial to a hot chocolate with a snifter of Baileys’ in. For summer sun, my choices have to be fruity and cold. What better way to make them boozy than with the perfect Pimms and lemonade?

For my mum’s birthday, my Nan and I treated her to Pimms with some cute stirrers and little cocktail umbrellas (because why not?). Mum worked as a top barmaid for a few years, so she couldn’t resist showing me the steps to making a Pimms pitcher perfect. Naturally I thought that I would share them with you guys!


strawberries – as many as you wish
a lime
1/2 an orange
1/2 cucumber
a handful of fresh mint
Pimms No. 1 liqueur
lemonade (of your choice)


While I was preparing the fruit, my little sister showed me a nifty way to remove the leaves from the strawberries without chopping the tops off. Using a straw, if you push through the bottom towards the leaves, you can lift them out!


Once the fruit is prepped and chopped, you should soak it in the Pimms No. 1 for ten to fifteen minutes. The recipe will call for one part liqueur to three parts lemonade so it’s up to you to get the proportions right but remember to account for the space taken up by the fruit and the ice!


Next add a big layer of ice to keep the drink chilled!


Finally, top up your jug with lemonade of your choice (we used Schweppes) and serve immediately into glasses. If you’re enjoying it outside, a jug with a lid or a cover would be best in order that the fruit doesn’t spoil.



  • Remember to pace yourself with soft drinks or water in between to prevent the dreaded hangover the next day!
  • if you’re boozing in the sun, make sure that you spend some time in the shade now and again. 

Enjoy responsibly!

Do you like Pimms?
Do you have a recipe for a favourite summer drink?
Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!


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